Getting Started

Here are a few things that you need to do in your first couple of weeks at George Brown College:

Activate your George Brown Student E-mail Address

In case you have not already done so, please activate your George Brown College email address. Important notices from the College including your assignments from your teachers, and communications from College staff will be made through this George Brown e-mail account.
To activate your George Brown e-mail account, please the student mail page.

Attend your orientation events 

Orientations help students understand the requirements of their program, academic departments, the College and immigration requirements. Students will also get to meet their faculty, departmental/GBC staff and fellow students in the program.

Academic Orientations: These are conducted by academic departments. Details will be available a few weeks before classes begin under Upcoming Events.

International Student Orientations: Organized by the International Centre, these are held at the beginning of each semester. During these orientations, we review, among other topics, Study/Work Permit information; International Student Health Insurance; working in Canada and services offered at the International Centre. Check your George Brown email for detailed dates for your specific orientation.

Smart Start: This is a fun orientation event organized yearly by the International Centre at the end of August. Students are introduced to the city and various services available at George Brown College.

Visit our Events page for details on upcoming orientations.

Submit your study permit

You must submit a copy of your valid Study Permit and Toronto Address/Phone number to the International Centre by fax (416-415-2120 or 416-415-4722) or drop it off at the International Centre at St. James Campus by the first week of classes. New international students who submit their study permits to the International Centre by the end of the first week of classes will be entered in a lucky draw!

Ensure your address information is up-to-date

To receive important letters and notices e.g. Fee statements from the College, you have to inform us each time your address changes by completing the Change of Address Form available at the International Centre office. If you change your address through Stu-View, please input only one address, your current address. Please do not include future addresses as this will confuse the system.

Obtain your George Brown College Photo ID

Your Student Photo ID card identifies you as a student at George Brown College, giving you access to many of our services and facilities. You should carry your Student Photo ID card with you at all times. See General Student Card information.
To get your student card you must:

  • Be a registered “Active” student and have no “Holds” on your GBC account.
  • Your timetable and a government-issued photo ID e.g. Passport or Driver’s License, are both required to get your George Brown College Photo ID.
  • If you qualify, go to the closest George Brown College Photo ID Centre. You can avoid line-ups by taking advantage of George Brown College’s Online Student Photo Submission process. Please see a list of Photo ID Centre locations.
  • Your Student ID card is also a Library Borrower Card and a Print/Copy-card used for photocopying and printing in the campus Library Learning Commons.  To have your card activated as your Borrower Card, simply take it to the Library Learning Common Help Desk.

During the busy fall term the College arranges special photo-id sessions. See dates and times.
For students who do not have a Driver’s License, an Ontario Photo Card provides a convenient form of official identification. For more information, visit the Ontario Photo Card web page

St. James Campus: Room 137 - (Basement level of 200 King St. E.)
300 Adelaide St. E.: Room 111
Casa Loma Campus:  Bldg. C Room 350
Ryerson Campus: One Card Office, Jorgenson Hall, Room JOR-02, 350 Victoria Street

For St. James Campus and Casa Loma Campus, you must first get a number at the Q-Matic counter near Student Services to have your Photo-ID taken.

Open a bank account

In order to exchange foreign currency, pay bills by cheque, receive bank transfers or place your money in the bank, you need to open a bank account. Most major banks offer special banking programs for students. To open an account you must present at least two (2) pieces of identification (for example, Passport with Study Permit, GBC Student ID card, and/or major credit card.)

Major banks near St. James campus

Scotia Bank

279 King St. E.   (King St. E. & Princess), T  416 368 4301


1 Toronto St (King St. E. & Church), T  416 980 2772

TD Canada Trust

110 Yonge St. (Yonge & Adelaide), T  416 869 6262

Bank of Montreal

30 Yonge St. (Yonge & Front), T  416 867 5323

Royal Bank

161 King St E. (King St. E & Jarvis), T  416 365 9070



Major banks near Casa Loma campus

TD Canada Trust

675 Dupont St. (Dupont & Christie), T  416 531 9955

Royal Bank

10 St. Clair Ave W (St. Clair & Yonge), T  416 974 7840

Bank of Montreal

659 Dupont St. (Dupont and Christie), T 416 534 354

Scotiabank 332 Bloor Street West (Bloor & Spadina), T: (416) 515-2850

Learn about public transit in the city

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is a quick and convenient way to get around Toronto. The core subway trains are linked with the rest of the city through a network of buses and streetcars.

You can buy a Monthly Metropass for the TTC through the Student Association (SA) at a discounted rate while supplies last. Tokens, tickets and Metropasses are available at all subway stations at regular prices.

For areas in and around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) the “GO Train” is a convenient and affordable option.  The GO travels as far as Hamilton (with bus connections to Niagara Falls) to the West and to Oshawa with bus connections as far as Peterborough to the East. There are also numerous options north of the city.